July 4, 2017
As of July 4, 2017, the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) will allow the submission of certain documents electronically to the RPD using Canada Post epost Connect™.
This change in practice is being carried out in accordance with the Refugee Protection Division Rules (RPD Rules), which permit documents to be provided by electronic means when allowed by the Division.
This practice notice provides important information regarding the transmission of these documents to the RPD in an electronic format. Please review it carefully before using epost Connect to submit documents to the RPD.
What Documents can be Submitted to the RPD Using epost Connect?
Only the following documents may be submitted electronically to the RPD using epost Connect:
- Basis of Claim Form (BOC) for claims made at a port of entry (RPD Rule 7(2));
- Changes or additions to all BOCs, whether the claim was made at a port of entry or not (RPD Rule 9);
- Changes or additions to all Personal Information Forms (PIFs) for claims referred to the RPD prior to December 15, 2012 (referred to as “legacy claims”) (RPD Rule 9);
- The Intention to Proceed Form for legacy claims;
- Disclosure of documentary evidence (RPD Rule 34(1));
- Various applications made in accordance with the RPD Rules (RPD Rule 49); and
- Change of address notifications using the Notification of Client Contact Information form (RPD Rule 4(3)).
Use of epost Connect is voluntary. Claimants and counsel retain the option of providing all documents to the RPD by one of the accepted ways set out in the RPD Rules.
What cannot be done Using epost Connect?
epost Connect offers a secure location to share documents. The RPD will not use epost Connect to communicate with counsel or claimants. For scheduling enquires, counsel and claimants should continue to contact the appropriate regional office. epost Connect is only to facilitate the submission of documents to the RPD under the RPD Rules.
epost Connect cannot be used to provide documents to the Minister, where required under the RPD Rules. In those cases, the document must be provided to the Minister by one of the accepted ways set out in the RPD Rules.
Prior to submitting documents to the RPD using epost Connect, you must first tell the RPD that you would like to submit documents electronically by completing the online form. Counsel who appear before the RPD on a regular basis only need to do this once. Once you have completed and submitted the RPD’s online form, the IRB will contact you at the email address you have provided and invite you to join a secure conversation in epost Connect. If you do not have an epost Connect account, you will be asked to register.
Once you are registered and a secure conversation has been established, you can use epost Connect to submit documents to the RPD. Counsel can use the same conversation to submit documents across their entire caseload; separate conversations are not required for each claim.
Do not wait until a document is due before completing the RPD’s online form. The various time limits set out in the RPD Rules continue to apply. For this reason, please initiate your request for a secure connection through the RPD’s online form no later than two business days prior to the time the document that you wish to submit electronically is due. If you are not able to do so, you should provide the document in one of the accepted ways set out in the RPD Rules and not through epost Connect.
The Instructions on how to Submit Documents Electronically to the RPD through epost Connect provide further information.
RPD Rules Continue to Apply
The requirements set out in the RPD Rules continue to apply to the submission of documents using epost Connect:
- The claimant’s declaration and the interpreter’s declaration, where applicable, must be signed on the original paper copy of the BOC prior to scanning and submitting to the RPD through epost Connect (RPD Rule 6).
- Counsel, or the claimant if there is no counsel, must retain the signed original paper copy of the BOC and provide it to the RPD at the beginning of the hearing (similar to the requirement set out in RPD Rule 7(6) for BOCs provided to the RPD by fax).
- Changes or additions to the BOC of the PIF may also be provided to the RPD electronically using epost Connect. The requirements outlined in RPD Rule 9 continue to apply to amendments. However, you retain the option of providing such changes or additions to the BOC by one of the accepted ways set out in the RPD Rules.
- A BOC provided to the RPD by epost Connect must be accompanied by a copy of the claimant’s identity and travel documents and any other relevant documents that were not seized by an officer or provided to the RPD by an officer. A copy of each document must accompany the BOC as an electronic attachment, provided at the same time as the BOC (Rule 7(3)).Other identity and travel documents obtained after the BOC or PIF was submitted must still be submitted without delay. These documents may be submitted by epost Connect (Rule 7(4)) or by one of the accepted ways set out in the RPD Rules.
- The original of any document provided electronically to the RPD should be provided to the RPD at the beginning of the hearing, in accordance with RPD Rule 42.
When is a Document Received if Submitted Through epost Connect?
A document provided electronically to the RPD is considered to be received by the RPD at the date and time it is recorded as sent in epost eConnect.
File Type and Naming Conventions
Please convert all document files to PDF format prior to submission
Please send all submissions within one document with a file size lower than 1 gigabyte (1 GB), unless it is not practicable to do so.
To allow the Tribunal to match the documents submitted using epost Connect with the appropriate case file, all documents must be named in accordance with the naming convention outlined in the Instructions on how to Submit Documents Electronically to the RPD through epost Connect.
How to Get Help
If you are having technical problems with epost Connect, please contact Canada Post’s support service at 1-877-376-1212.
If you have questions regarding this notice, please contact your regional office.